There is an Inca incantation which stated said roughly: "Lord, give me spiritual peace so that I can acquiesce to what I cannot change, give me courage so that I can change what I can change, and give me wisdom so that I can distinguish one from the other. " Obviously, this incantation can be regularly repeated by any gerontologist, since it is very difficult to distinguish aging from the processes which enhance the organism's viability, aging from diseases, and the mechanisms of aging in various species of animals. According to N. Shock, who compiled a valuable bibliography of the works on aging, more than 43,000 works on gerontology have been published in the last decade. Why do we continue to disagree with one another and hold that the most important mechanisms are still largely unknown to us in spite of that flow of information and an enormous number of facts? What is it that we do not know? Could it be that we do not know the sole sacramental fact which can explain everything, such as the hormone of aging, the programmed triggering of a suicide gene, the appearance of a special toxic agent in the axoplasmic flow of substances, and so forth? Goethe once wrote that a scientist most often holds certain parts, but unfortunately he lacks their sacred link.
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